Most Public buses are not accessible to PwDs

What is the News?

According to government data, less than 7% of public buses in the country are fully accessible to PwDs as of December 2020.

Target under Accessible India Campaign for Public Buses:

  • Under the Accessible India Campaign, the deadline for making at least 25% of public buses fully accessible was March 2018. However, the deadline had been pushed forward to June 2022.

How much has been achieved so far?

  • Inter City Buses: 1 lakh intercity buses are operated by states. Only 0.2% are fully wheelchair accessible, 26% are partially accessible and 74% are not accessible.
  • Buses Operating in Urban Areas: Of the 44,000 buses operating in urban areas, only 22% is fully wheelchair accessible, 33% is partially accessible and 44% is not accessible.

Accessible India Campaign(AIC):

  • It is the nationwide flagship campaign. The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) launched it in 2015.
  • Aim: It is aimed at making a barrier-free and conducive environment for Divyangjans (Persons with Disabilities – PwDs) all over the country.

Components under the campaign:

  • Build Accessibility Environment: It aims to provide an accessible physical environment for everyone. For that, elimination of obstacles and barriers to indoor and outdoor facilities is required, including in schools, medical facilities, and workplaces.
  • Transportation System Accessibility: It focuses on providing PwDs an equal rights. Rights include travel and use of public and private transportation infrastructure with dignity and independence.
  • Information and Communication Eco-System Accessibility: It aims to eliminate all barriers linked to society and infrastructure, in the way of obtaining and utilizing information in daily life.

Key Targets under the Campaign:

  • 50% of all the government buildings of National Capital and all the State capitals to be fully accessible buildings.
  • 50% of railway stations in the country to be converted into fully accessible railway stations.
  • Moreover, 25% of Government-owned public transport carriers in the country to be converted into fully accessible carriers.
  • Conducting an accessibility audit of all the domestic airports and converting them into fully accessible airports.
  • Ensure that at least 50% of all public documents issued by the Central Government and the State Governments meet accessibility standards.
  • Ensuring that 25% of all public television programmes aired by the government are accessible to PwDs.
  • Etc.

Source: The Hindu

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